management in two cultures
bridging the gap between u.s. and mexican managers
By: Eva S. Kras
Business & Economics/International/Management
Much has been written on the economic dimensions of U.S.-Mexican business relations, but little on the more subtle and sensitive cultural issues involved. In this revised edition, Eva Kras has provided us with an updated book that confronts head-on the problems that arise out of the cultural differences between U.S. and Mexican managers. And it could not be more timely. Since the publication of this book in 1989, the Maquiladoras have increased in number, the NAFTA agreement has been ratified and is already having an impact on Mexican society, and business practices have changed and evolved in response. In this new edition, Ms. Kras has expanded her analysis and offers the reader a sharper image of her subject in the light of these developments and their meaning for interaction between U.S. and Mexican managers. Mexico’s ambitious Maquiladora programs designed to foster the establishment of foreign, especially U.S., manufacturing plants in Mexico along the U.S. borders has been strikingly successful. All along the border, jointly managed industries have sprung up. The result has been a significant increase in the amount of contact between managers from the two cultures and a dramatic rise in the stakes involved in their developing effective working relationships. This practical handbook is based on extensive interviews with Mexican and U.S. managers. Ms. Kras compares the critical areas of a managerial setting in which the values and behaviors of the two cultures differ and offers specific recommendations as to how the disparities between them can be handled. In the process, she deals realistically with the problems and misunderstandings that arise between Mexican and U.S. managers and demonstrates clearly how simple but hard-to-achieve changes in attitude and style can resolve them.